Email Marketing, Why You Shouldn’t Forget It

There was once a time when sending a simple thank-you card to your donors or customers was a strong way to show your appreciation for their support and to strengthen their loyalty to your organization’s cause. It was a big, personal gesture, something to stick on the fridge and keep forever. But now, the game has changed, and if your organization has “missed the boat” you might want to rethink how you’re approaching your communication.

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In the world of branding, marketing, and building cause-oriented awareness, there are a million tools to use, but what’s the one tool that everyone forgets to mention? Email marketing. And here’s how it can help your organization.

Whether you’re trying to promote an upcoming fundraiser, generate turn out for an event, or even raise awareness of your brand, email marketing is key. While not as quick and easy as some of the other digital tools out there, emails can still make-or-break the overall success of your organization.

Show the Love

First, consider that email marketing is making a statement all by itself. Instead of sending a blast on social media, where people may or may not stop scrolling to see your post, email promotion can be a more tailored approach to reaching your supporters. Sometimes it’s less about what you say and is more about how you say it. With email marketing, you can segment your clients into different groups to create even more personalized and specific content for your readers. By embedding video, web page links, and more, you can create a brand experience that gives readers insights into your organization’s culture.

Building relationships with customers is the most important component to success and longevity, regardless of what business or cause your organization supports. In the case of networking, email blasts can actually help your business connect with new clients, or  you can even reconnect with clients and programs that have partnered with your organization in the past.

Words Mean A Lot

With a quick email blast or newsletter, your organization has the ability to make sure that your client base is “in the know.”  In other words, it’s not just a picture that pops up and then vanishes within the next refresh. Emails can say SO MUCH MORE. You can address each customer individually and send a sign off. With the ability to send mass amounts of highly-personalized emails to clients, you can gain more loyalty from your current supporters and encourage them to share your information with others through digital mediums, which are fast and free!

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It Doesn’t Have to Feel Needy

When sending an email, readers know that the organization or individual who crafted the email took the time to make sure that they are showing appreciation for their supporters. The sense of solidarity that email marketing can create is strong, so, although readers may know that a particular email has likely been sent to numerous people, that doesn’t change the intention. As a nonprofit or charity organization, asking for volunteers and donations directly within your emails can come across much less “needy” than it would in a piece of paper mail. Studies have shown that email marketing can create such a strong sense of connection among consumers and supporters that when they know that other people on an email list are reading the same calls-for-action at the same time, they are more likely to react to that call.

Overall, email marketing requires a little more work that most social media marketing strategies, but the strength that you can build behind a well-planned email campaign can be significant and is well worth the effort. At Conscious Collaborative, our writers and designers work together to create email campaigns that are creative and impactful. Learn more about all of our services and get in touch with our team today!


 

Building Communities: What's It All About?

What is Community?

At Conscious Collaborative, our community includes those individuals and organizations who are willing to give a helping hand, seek collaboration, support each other,  and show compassion - in a concrete way - on a daily basis. Participating in a community can bring a kind of acceptance that nearly every individual and business desires. Unfortunately, we have seen how our continually tech-centered and fast-moving world has facilitated more and more of what Aristotle calls “relationships of utility,” so-called “connections” estranged from feelings of mutual respect and a shared sense of contributing some greater good to society.

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Stay Active in YOUR Community

Being active in your community creates something tangible from which everyone can benefit. Communities provide resources and opportunities for both organizations and individuals to talk, build, and collaborate in a shared space and with a shared goal, or set of goals.  Expression of thoughts, innovative ideas, and feelings is essential to functioning in a meaningful way within your society. One of the easiest ways to be a part of your community is to find your local community centers, think tanks, and/or creative centers and participate in local events.

Pittsburgh Community Organizations

Pittsburgh is a city that encourages restoration and understanding among community members. Our culturally-rich and diverse home harbors many organizations and community members who take the notion of “community building” seriously.

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Here are a few Pittsburgh organizations that have dedicated themselves to facilitating community relationship building:

A Pittsburgh charitable organization, Union Project, believes in bringing “... diverse people together and restoring community.” You can check out their community calendar to see what events they are facilitating on a daily basis. There are a number of programs and events for adults and children that have been designed to incorporate art and creativity within the community.

Understanding that we all inhabit a shared planet and environment is a stepping stone towards paying attention to what we are doing to it. The Frick Environmental Center gives people the chance to take that step. They encourage locals to explore and understand Pittsburgh's natural settings by becoming “one with nature,” so to speak. Demonstrating proper trash and compost disposal, recycling habits, as well as how to live in a way that is more sustainable for the Earth, the Frick Environmental Center teaches environmentally-aware adults to be even more conscientious in their own homes and communities. Additionally, the Center’s “Nature School” provides thoughtful programming for 3-5 year olds, as well as older students, all of whom can benefit from establishing an early connection with nature.

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Offering multiple locations, and with separate events at each location, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh makes it easy to attend a free yoga class in East Liberty, take Japanese lessons at the main branch in Oakland, or enjoy themed events like “Wacky Wednesdays” in Brookline. And this is just a minute sampling of what’s available. Each week, you can expect some interesting event unfolding at your local library. Do yourself a favor and try out a class or activity: a tremendous opportunity to connect with other local residents, advance your education, or simply broaden your perspective on the world. (Fun fact: if you look at all of the Carnegie Library locations on a map, they form the shape of a heart).

Community Comes Down to YOU

You may not realize it, but there are multiple communities that you can connect with every day. Whether it’s your local neighborhood, your family, your friends, common interest groups, work, etc.

Being a diligent member of your community isn’t just for the youngsters. It’s important for people of all ages to engage with their community. A simple thing such as going to a few local events a month can make a huge difference. It can give an individual or family an increased sense of belonging and a heightened awareness of their interconnectedness with other residents of their community.
At Conscious Collaborative, we believe that a willing person never stops striving to gain not just information, but wisdom and understanding for the people and things surrounding them. If you want to be more active in your community, or learn about more Pittsburgh nonprofits, please check out our recent  blog on sustainability. And, if you like the way we think and approach our own work, please contact us to discuss a potential collaboration.

Develop and Sustain Lasting Relationships with Your Audience

What is the key to a successful organization? People. For any type of organization, reaching and maintaining a strong connection with its audience is crucial. There are several obvious tools you can use to measure the success of your company, its products and services. You can monitor your website numbers to see if they’re on the rise, or obsessively visit your social media profiles hundreds of times a day to ensure that you are engaging with your customer base digitally. But do these actions actually impact your target audience? And, more importantly, are you and your organization providing your existing and potential followers with the tools, resources, and care that they deserve?

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In order to build a lasting relationship between your organization and potential clients, you must prioritize one element in your marketing: the connection that you establish and maintain with your clients. Whether it’s making sure that you personalize an email or showing appreciation for a person’s continued patronage, the end goals should always be the same: providing a unique, tailored service that attends to all of the client’s needs and showing the human side of your organization. Creating a customer-centric organization is your aim, and you can do that in a subtle, non-patronizing way by showing your organization’s dedication to the small details and gestures that prove your personal investment in each client.

Understanding How to Engage with Your Clients

Knowing how to engage in a meaningful way requires more than just customer service, and more than just phone calls and tracking data. What it’s really about is creating intelligent and individualized client interaction. To understand your audience’s wants, you also have to understand the best ways to communicate with them. Each organization should, ideally, possess a unique voice, style, and aesthetic that appeals to (and is compatible with) its target audience. Without deliberately creating and sustaining the voice of your organization, public and private messaging suffers from a lack of consistency.

Recognizing which social platforms or communication tools your audience prefers is another crucial step. For example, if your primary client base is young people between the ages of 20-35, launching an extensive Facebook campaign (to the exclusion of an Instagram one) is an obvious misstep. Whether it’s email, in-person meetings, or hand-written cards, every client is different and deserves a personalized approach.

Long-Term Communication Plans

When choosing the way your organization reaches out to an audience, remember to plan for the future. You need to regularly engage with your audience, but you also need to brainstorm, plan, and set future initiatives in motion. Some of these initiatives should be lasting, long-term strategies that attempt to anticipate your clients’ future desires and needs, whether they’re based on the ongoing development of the company, seasonal changes, or updates in your specific field or industry. Understanding is half the battle, so dedicating some time to anticipating your clients’ needs or interests several months “down the road” can make a measurable difference and make your marketing plan more cohesive.

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Walk In Their Shoes

Lastly, always try to understand your client base by putting yourself in their shoes. It’s easy to feel excited about your own marketing ideas or core organizational aims, but how do they translate to a more objective observer or audience? Sometimes, simply requesting third-party input (a kind of informal focus group) to give you feedback on your efforts, your aesthetic, etc. can make a significant difference.

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Whatever way you choose to make your organization’s projects and engagement count, remember that there are innumerable “faceless” tools and services available help you engage with your clients. You can crunch numbers, build high-volume sites, and develop what seems like a self-sustaining marketing effort. To believe this, however, is misguided; the thing that can set you apart from other similar or competing organizations is your ability to not only understand your clients, but to engage with them in an approachable, personalized way that synchronizes with their own values and priorities as human beings.

At Conscious Collaborative, this is the strategy and ethos we embrace with every organization and individual client with whom we collaborate. We offer a wide variety of services: digital marketing, website building, mobile app development, public relations and more. Most importantly, we stress the value of building lasting relationships between organizations and their followers, ensuring that we work with people whose causes are just as strong, fair, and meaningful as the values we stand upon.

 

What is Environmentalism?

Environmentalism: A Term That MATTERS

The dictionary definition of environmentalism is “...concern about, and action aimed at protecting the environment.” Environmentalism manifests in the world when an individual or organization generates enough concern about their environment that they feel compelled to take meaningful action. Any person or organization can take steps towards adopting practices that ensure breathable air, clean drinking water, and maintaining natural ecosystems. Of course, as individuals and organizations consolidate their shared investment and interest in a clean environment, they can move from personal or local efforts to large-scale progress  via policy and legislative change. 

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Environmentalism is a term used EVERYWHERE in today’s society, and it’s time that we all take a minute to truly understand what it all means and why it matters.

Responsibility vs. Convenience: Keeping an Eco-Friendly Mind

Environmentalism is often described as a political or social movement.  Some simply describe it as caring for the planet, although it’s a bit more complicated than that. Environmentalism can be broken down into many different principles and nuanced ideologies.

At Conscious Collaborative, we consider human and non-human lives in many decisions that we make on a day-to-day basis. This falls into the ecocentric ideology: one that focuses on the well-being of the Earth as a whole. All beings on this planet we call home evolved from the Earth itself. The organisms that live here continue to live because of the nutrients naturally produced by it. This side of environmentalism believes that all of the living things here (sentient or otherwise) are interconnected because of our total and unquestionable dependency on our planet. Let’s face it, humanity is many lifetimes away from living on hunks of rock floating in space. Ecocentrism means thinking bigger and more inclusively than simply sustaining human life. More than just protecting the things useful to humans, ecocentrism asks human beings to take part in propelling and ensuring the sustenance of everything around them.

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In contrast, there is anthropocentrism, or the human-centered ideology operating under the umbrella that is environmentalism. This is the belief that we should take care of the things from which humans specifically benefit. The anthropocentric outlook emphasizes responsibility to future generations of human beings and whatever benefits their quality of life. Anything beyond that is of secondary concern, to varying degrees. Although this way of thinking has been described as selfish and shallow, objectively it just represents a moral rearrangement or re-prioritization: thinking of our grandchildren’s grandchildren and how we’d want our future family members to live; it represents a species-center approach.

Things You Can Do to be an Environmentalist (Mostly)

Regardless of where you or your organization might fall in the spectrum of environmentalism, to embrace it, you must take responsible action. What matters is that you’re doing your part to lessen the negative impacts of your particular “carbon footprint.”

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There are so many everyday things anyone and everyone can do.

  • Recycle junk mail
  • Upcycle existing “garbage” for a functional purpose (a coffee can as a paintbrush or pen/pencil holder).
  • Turn off or unplug lights or appliances that aren’t being used
  • Switch to  energy-efficient light bulbs
  • Take shorter showers
  • Take up composting or gardening
  • Carpool, cycle, or walk to work or other locations within a reasonable distance.
  • Organize a neighborhood clean up
  • Use natural cleaners instead of chemicals
  • Invest in rechargeable batteries

Environmentalism is just one of the many ways you can take responsibility for what you take in and put out into the world. We at Conscious Collaborative believe that everyone can take simple steps to do their part with integrity and self-awareness. If you’d like to learn more about how we apply our own principles to the work we do, we recommend you check out our website.

Springtime Sustainability: A Glance at Pittsburgh’s Climate

Although Pittsburgh has had some rather peculiar weather as of late, it is indeed springtime. Speaking of sunshine and flowers, I think it’s a good time of the year to highlight the importance of sustainability. This increasingly critical term has become more and more relevant to individuals and organizations. At Conscious Collaborative, we are glad to see that there are so many organizations dedicated to making the world a healthier place, community by community.

Pittsburgh Sustainability Organizations:

Shout-Outs

Since 1998, Sustainable Pittsburgh has been one of those organizations. They assist with communities, businesses, and restaurants by helping them to implement sustainable practices. Another way Sustainable Pittsburgh helps out is by providing assessments for individual businesses, identifying the specific ways in which that organization can save money through resource conservation.  But, that’s not all that this organization does to bring sustainability to Western Pennsylvania. Champions for Sustainability, a program launched by Sustainable Pittsburgh, was created around ten years ago to connect with various companies, aiming to further advance the uses of sustainable practices.

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Another nonprofit, Grow Pittsburgh was established with the soul purpose of creating opportunities to build community self-sufficiency. Their mission is to teach and endorse neighborhood gardening and efficient use of available resources in the area. Grow Pittsburgh shows how agriculture and sustainability go hand in hand. They provide free pesticides and locally-grown food for people who may not have access to these goods. As the name suggests, Grow Pittsburgh has several community gardens, but if you have a green thumb, they also sell saplings and produce!

Since we’re on the topic of nonprofits, The Green Building Alliance (GBA) is striving to push Western Pennsylvania towards sustainability. With a 20-year plan, they have already made sustainable building practices a new norm for many businesses and organizations in Pennsylvania. The GBA meets with their partners to find specific ways that those partners can be more sustainable. Their goal is to reconstruct older buildings and build anew, with sustainability in mind. Over 1,200 members have joined The Green Building Alliance to advance the way that we build our buildings.

Sustainability in Practice

Along with the clear environmental benefits, there are also indirect ways that sustainability can profit your business. Consider the potential opportunity of an abandoned building. Using the capital that already exists will save time and money, as well as bring beauty and (potentially) more consumers to the surrounding area. Not doing so would be a waste of space, so why not take the chance? Not to mention, if you’re already increasing foot traffic, letting your consumers see you helping and caring about their community would elevate your reputation. A positive reputation can also bring more employees your way, growing your business.

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The Green Building Alliance, and other similar organizations, exist for businesses that are looking to find partners in sustainability. You can partner with the GBA and work to make your spaces even more eco-friendly.

There are some actions that you can take right now that can help bring your organization steps closer to being sustainable.

  • Place recycling bins throughout your business
  • Go paperless
  • Consider using refillable ink pens
  • Get your printer cartridges refilled instead of buying new ones
  • Use energy efficient lighting
  • Use renewable energy throughout your workspaces

Sustainability isn’t just a fad that popped up on Facebook that we’ll forget about in a month. It’s a way that everyone on this planet can participate to help repair the damage that has clearly been done. Sustainability is a lifestyle. Not only does it help the planet, but it can bring an entire neighborhood together, helping it thrive. Normalizing this lifestyle is an important stepping stone in ensuring the safety of our Earth as well as ourselves, the human race.

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We at Conscious Collaborative have hopes that, with everyone’s help the future will be brighter and safer for everyone. We continue to support and communicate the importance of protecting and saving our environment, as we collaborate with other organizations that share our values.

If you would like to collaborate with our team on a marketing project, local initiative, or just want to grab a cup of coffee with one of our team members, check out our services and contact us TODAY.
 

Podcasts: What Should You Be Listening To?

Podcasts never offer useful information or ideas for professionals, right? Alas, you are mistaken. While there are a wide range of podcasts intended solely for entertainment, (launched by Bachelor stars and YouTubers alike), there are plenty that can actually help you succeed as a marketer. If you are stuck creating a new marketing campaign or revamping your current strategy, listening to a 30-minute podcast can provide you with new inspiration and get you back on track. If you are looking to dip your toe into the world of podcasts, here are eight of our personal favorites...

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5-Minute Marketing: Brian Moran, a marketing guru and co-founder of SamCart, shares daily advice to listeners looking to advance their organization. This podcast is noteworthy because he gives this advice in under 10 minutes, allowing it to fit into any busy schedule. His topics vary from how to be more productive to his advice on ideal hiring techniques.

Favorite Episode? “Why People Aren’t Buying”: This episode jumps into the common question of how to sell more and goes beyond the most common business approaches.

Ctrl Alt Delete: While this podcast is not specifically a marketing podcast, it does delve into a realm of topics that are important to the business world. Emma Gannon, author of Ctrl, Alt, Delete: How I Grew Up and Stayed Sane Online, explores different topics such as the digital world, creativity, feminism, and careers.

Favorite Episode? “Zoella - Talking Internet Fame & Being Your Own Boss”: In this episode, Emma talks with top Influencer Zoe Suggs, better known on the Internet as Zoella. She discusses her career and how she was able to wear multiple hats to create her own brand by the age of 25. This is an inspiring podcast in which listeners are reminded of the value of hard work and encouraged to pursue a career they passionately enjoy.

How I Built This with Guy Raz: In this podcast, Guy Raz interviews the founders of the most successful companies in the world. From a marketer's perspective, learning how these businesses were able to grow to where they are now is inspiring, as it offers a real world example of how everyday people were able to do it.

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Favorite Episode? “Patagonia- Yvon Chouinard”: In this episode, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard gives listeners a different feel for business. He discusses the ethical side of his corporation beyond just working towards making the largest profit. This is an eye-opening interview in which Chouinard discusses the creation of products and how he was able to learn the ins and outs of operating and managing a large company.

The Goal Digger Podcast: Host Jenna Kutcher is an expert online marketer and shares advice for anybody looking to accomplish their goals. She explores topics related to productivity and how to manage social media properly.

Favorite Episode? “5 Ways to Boost Productivity Working from Home”: In this quick bonus episode, Jenna discusses simple tips to make the most of your time while working at home. She shares real-life examples of how she was able to succeed while running her business from the comfort of her own home and tells her story in a down-to-Earth, relatable way.

Copyblogger FM: Sonia Simone, who is a founding partner of Copyblogger Media, talks about all issues related to content marketing. She meets with fellow experts and analyzes the latest trends that could change up your current techniques.

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Favorite Episode? “Storytelling for Modern Content Marketing”: In this episode, host Sonia Simone interviews Shane Snow and Joe Lazauskas of Contently, creators of an online tool that helps you generate amazing stories and content for organizations. For a marketer looking to create great content, this podcast discusses the power of good storytelling and how to use it to achieve your business’ aims.

The Science of Social Media: This podcast shares details about every aspect of social media, as well as other related marketing tips that will help you succeed. This podcast is ideal for someone trying to learn the ins and outs of different social media trends and works to make it useful for every industry.

Favorite Episode? “Habits of Successful Marketers, the Science of Confidence in Leadership, Why We’re Always Learning & More”: If you’ve ever wanted to know more about what makes somebody successful, this is the episode for you. It is interesting to know what qualities can set someone apart as a marketer and what you can work on to enhance your career.

Marketing Smarts from MarketingProfs: This podcast looks to provide real-life examples and advice for working professionals. The hosts dive into the world of business from a marketing perspective and look at different issues like how to create quality content and establish a lasting presence on social media networks.

Favorite Episode? “Humor in Marketing- Marketoonist Tom Fishburne”: This episode explores the power of comedy in marketing, a quality often overlooked. It also makes the listener reconsider cartoons and how they can potentially contribute to an organization’s next marketing campaign.

Duct Tape Marketing: John Jantsch, a speaker, author, and marketing consultant, interviews other professionals to discuss issues related to the business world. Each interview takes on a new perspective and shares factual stories and secrets that have worked for each guest.

Favorite Episode?  “Be a Better Marketer by Finding Out What People Actually Want”: On this episode, guest Ryan Levesque, marketing expert and author of Ask, answers vital questions regarding how a marketer can locate their target market is and how to analyze them to determine what they want on an ongoing basis.

If you’re looking to revamp your organization’s marketing strategies, Conscious Collaborative is here to help. We offer a full range of services, from social media management to website design. Contact us TODAY!

Setting Goals & Achieving Them

At the heart of any marketing campaign is the desire for one of the following outcomes: increased awareness, conversions, or engagement. For any organization, targeting a specific objective is far more practical than pursuing some vague, nebulous idea of what you would like to achieve. Setting a specific objective means being able to measure your success better, and allows you to clarify what is the most effective solution to drive sales.

For a nonprofit organization, creating a clear goal can help you distinguish what to target based on two important factors: time and money. Luckily, for every marketer out there, the digital world offers plenty of solutions for any situation. In this article, we will discuss each goal - awareness, conversions, and engagement - and our recommended methods to achieve them.

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Awareness: Brand awareness is the amount your organization is recognized and whether or not customers know of your products. For example, if somebody is looking into buying a cereal and immediately thinks of Kellogg’s, that means that Kellogg’s has successfully established strong brand awareness. Two important times to focus on brand awareness are at the founding of your organization, and during a new product launch. When done effectively, concentrating on brand awareness can bring your brand to the top of someone’s mind when thinking about a certain product or service.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO can improve your website’s visibility through search engines. Some helpful tips to improve your websites searchability include optimizing your website in the following ways:

  • Words: include keywords that a consumer may search for that relate to your organization
  • Titles of pages: search engines are better prepared to find relevant websites, if pages are named properly and correspond to what your organization is offering
  • Links between websites: establishes credibility for your site
  • Words in links: gives a search engine a brief description of what that link offers consumers
  • Reputation: create original content

After completing the checklist above, a customer looking for something that relates to your organization should be able to stumble across your site. For instance, if you are a nonprofit in Pittsburgh that focuses on supplying children with educational supplies, you could include the following details:

  • Phrases and words that talk about schooling, nonprofits, and the specific location
  • Titles including education and nonprofit
  • Link(s) to reputable schools that you support and articles about your organization
  • Named links that correspond or relate to education and schooling
  • Compelling content about your brand that isn’t duplicated on other websites
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Conversions: Conversion is the general term for action from a customer.  An example of a conversion could be the sale of a specific product, or even simply signing up to receive newsletters. If your organization is looking to drive a certain conversion, formulating a call-to-action strategy is the best method. From a digital standpoint, this can be done through online advertisements or even email marketing.

Digital Advertisements: Digital advertisements can be implemented on any social media network and through search engines. To find more information for a specific platform’s advertising options, check out Conscious Collaborative’s Social Media Series, where we discuss Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram. Digital advertisements offer your organization the benefit of selecting a landing page that will bring your customer to the exact online “starting point” you prefer, so they are primed to complete whatever conversion you would like.

Email Marketing: Email marketing is another tool that can drive a certain action. If you are able to deliver your message clearly to consumers, they are more likely to follow through on that specific action. While email marketing is a little trickier than the standard digital advertisements, it can be more effective because consumers are already (in most cases) familiar with your organization and more interested in what you have to offer.

Engagement: A brand’s engagement measures the degree to which customers are interacting with your organization. This can be the number of times your brand is mentioned on a social media account such as Twitter, or the number of likes you’ve gathered on your latest Instagram picture. Increasing engagement creates a stronger relationship between you and your customers and should be an important focus point for your brand.

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Social Media Management: Deploying a social media strategy on each platform is important to utilize all aspects of the website. In our Social Media Series, we discuss different marketing opportunities available on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram. Our general advice is to create captivating content on each site to ensure that your viewers would like to share your posts and updates with friends. Not only does this allow your post to be shared with more people from most social media algorithms, but it motivates people to look into your organization more generally - to see the products or services you offer.

If you’re looking to start engaging with social media influencers, or maybe you’re not sure what “influencers” even are, check out last month’s article, “The Power of Influencers.”

Social Media Mayhem: Instagram 101

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Instagram is the final network we will be covering in our social media series. We will explore different aspects of this platform, including audience demographics, different advertising options, and various engagement tools. Instagram has gained a significant following from its start in 2010 and could take your marketing campaign to the next level.

Audience: As of September 2017, Instagram had 800 million monthly active users and, even more impressive, 500 million daily active users. Below is a breakdown of the users you will find present on the platform.

  • 59% of online 18-29 year olds
  • 33% of online 30-49 year olds
  • 18% of online 50-64 year olds
  • 8% of online 65 and older
  • 38% of online females
  • 26% of online males

 As shown by the statistics above, Instagram hosts a younger audience, the majority of whom are 18 to 29 year olds. If your brand is targeting a younger demographic, Instagram is an effective way to reach them, especially with the high rate of daily usage. The split between female and males present is the most drastic when compared to the other social media platforms analyzed before. This division is something to consider when planning what content to post.  

Advertisement Opportunities: If you feel confident that Instagram fits the demographic you would like to target, the next step is to explore the different advertising options that are available. Instagram is owned by Facebook, so the opportunities are similar, as explained in the Facebook 101 post. Below is a breakdown of the ads your organization can run on this platform.

  • Photo Ads: Single Image Ad
  • Video Ads: Single Video Ad with video or gif
  • Carousel Ads: Multiple image/ video ads allows user to scroll through
  • Stories Ads: Offers single image/ single video ad, up to 15 seconds long

To create your campaign, you will first select your objective. There are a variety of options for your brand to focus on, such as awareness, consideration, and conversion. Within each category are additional options - areas of focus for your brand to localize its advertising efforts. This approach offers your company a targeted marketing approach and a way to measure the effectiveness of the advertisement based on what you would like to achieve.

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After choosing your advertising objective(s), the next step is to select your target market. Instagram offers businesses the opportunity to customize their target market based on location, age, and even interests or behaviors. The final step is entering your budget, which will impact the rate at which the advertisement is shown, depending on your selected objective.

Organizations also have the opportunity to contact influencers directly. This was previously mentioned in the Youtube 101 post, as there is a similar group active on Instagram. Influencers are individuals such as David Dobrik (@daviddobrik), who have over 4.5 million followers and thus a very large reach. Researching the influencer’s audience is essential before you reach out for a collaboration, as it is important to find out who your target market would be following.

Engagement: Your presence on Instagram is similar to Facebook; there is a science to what appears in users’ feeds. The actual algorithm is too complex to articulate here, but here are some tips to help your post reach your intended audience.

  1. Use a business account: To do this, you simply link your Facebook business page to your Instagram account. This also allows your organization to view and analyze statistics.

  2. Limit the spam: This includes avoiding an overwhelming amount of hashtags (for future reference, it is best to have no more than five). It’ also ideal to use a variety of hashtags for each post, instead of repeating.

  3. Engage: Use the Instagram story feature and respond back to comments on your posts

Another Instagram feature is Instagram Live, which allows you to connect with users in real time. Similar to Facebook Live, this feature allows your organization to show a behind-the-scenes view of your organization and respond back to viewers instantly. To make the most of your Instagram Live event, it is important to give viewers an advanced notice so they will be prepared to view. It is also important to have a plan or script of what you will say to avoid any drawn out pauses or awkward moments.

An Instagram Story is an informal way to update followers on new promotions and current events happening with your company. Once posted, it only remains available to followers for 24 hours and then expires and cannot be seen. Instagram Stor[ies] are a great way to create a stronger brand identity, allowing you to show more than just products. Instagram offers users the option to save a specific story for a future “revisit.” This feature is helpful if you post about a current promotion going on that you would like followers to come back to and, ideally, follow to an external link for the promotion, event, or purchase.

The last engagement strategy worth mentioning is the use of Instagram contests. This is a way to encourage user engagement on your account. For example, if you want to increase your number of followers, you can make a contest for one of your products where users must like your photo and follow your account to enter.

We're wrapping up our "Social Media Mayhem" series, but if you have any other questions regarding social media and how to use it effectively, please contact us at Conscious Collaborative. Our team can help you build a comprehensive strategy for advertising on one or all of the networks mentioned in our blog series, ensuring that you reach and impress your target audience.

The Power of Influencers

We live in an age in which celebrities and trend-setters aren’t just the stars featured on the big screen; they’re also the ones making and posting DIY videos from home. The easily incorporated digital world allows everyday people to put themselves and their thoughts out there for everybody to see, and by doing so, these individuals are able to gain popularity and a significant social following. The term for this type of person is “influencer.” Influencers have the ability to reach a large number of individuals, and they can potentially influence their viewers’ purchasing decisions. This type of word-of-mouth marketing has become incredibly powerful, and modern marketers now seek to engage with influencers in their market, which can lead to some serious consumer love.

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There are steps to consider if your organization is looking for the right influencer to represent your brand.

What have they done so far?

If your organization is questioning whether or not to engage with social media influencers, here are just a few statistics to help you make up your mind:

  • 70% of millennial customers make buying decisions based on their peers’ recommendations.
  • Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Youtube, report that 19% and 18% of customer buying decisions are based on their content.
  • 60% of customers have been influenced based on a social media post or review.
  • 49% of customers rely on recommendations by influencers when buying a product.

Clearly, modern influencers can make a major difference in a consumer’s buying process, since most individuals look to someone else for advice before entering their credit card numbers. There is a level of trust that followers have for the influencers that they choose to watch, because consumers see into their everyday lives, which makes influencers more relatable.

Who will represent your brand?

Before you begin researching influencers, it is important to first identify specific brand characteristics that are important to your organization's identity. A good place to start is to create a list of values and qualities that you feel represent your brand, as well as a list of characteristics that fit the target market you aim to attract. This list should share characteristics with whomever is associated with your company.

When looking to find an appropriate influencer, it is important to analyze that individual’s relevancy and social reach. Relevancy corresponds directly to the list of “matching” characteristics between you and the influencer, while reach encompasses the influencer’s number of followers and their audience demographics. It is critical to consider both of these factors if your organization wants influencers to be effective. Here are just a few suggested tools to make this process easier:

  • Right Relevance Pro: Find an influencer by searching any keyword relevant to your organization and ranks them based on follower engagement
  • Insightpool: Find top influencers based on characteristics and conversations
  • Hootsuite: Monitor conversations in your industry to find what is trending and who/what is relevant

How to create a strategy?

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After you have selected an influencer that you would like to work with, the next step is considering how you want to engage with them and their audience. One idea you can try is a sponsorship between that influencer and your organization. This could take the form of an organized Instagram of Facebook post, or you can ask to be mentioned in one of their Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube videos. An example of this type of strategy in action is Ashley Iaconetti’s post with BioClarity, where she gives a description of the benefits of that brand’s products and she describes her personal experiences with their products.

Your organization should also consider setting up an event where you can meet up with your ideal influencer in-person. This can be done in a variety of ways. One example of an organization pulling out the red carpet (so to speak) with an influencer is when Lush invited the well-known influencer, Adelaine Morin, to their headquarters in Vancouver, Canada. Lush shared products and information with this influencer, and she was able to share behind the scenes footage of production, employees, and promotions with her subscribers and followers while she was there. After that trip, Adelaine continued to rave about the organization and its products. By doing this she was able to create a relationship with employees she met and Lush saw an increase in sales. Another type of event to consider is a launch party. When creating her makeup line, Kim Kardashian West invited top makeup influencers to her release party where they were able to try on and learn more about all of her products. Each guest documented their night through Snapchat and other social channels, which gave their followers a look into the new items being launched.

Regardless of what product or services your organization offers, social media influencers can play a key role in driving more traffic to your website! Don't miss the boat with this one.

For more information about how to utilize influencers and increase the effectiveness of your marketing campaign CONTACT US at Conscious Collaborative. We offer a broad range of services, from social media content writing to media relations.




 

Social Media Mayhem: Youtube 101

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This week in our social media series, we will be covering Youtube and the benefits of using this platform to attract users to your organization. Youtube is a unique social media platform that thrives off of creators who craft and upload original content to entertain audiences. Much like cable television, subscribers keep up with individuals in a dedicated way; think of subscribers’ loyalty to specific Youtube channels as the online equivalent of keeping up with a favorite reality show or sitcom. This user trend - of regular and deliberate engagement - makes an organization's presence different than on other social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook. To break this down, we will use the same approach as in our past blog posts from our Social Media Mayhem series: analyzing the audience, advertising opportunities, and how to engage with users.

Audience: As mentioned earlier, Youtube can be compared to cable, providing users with endless amounts of ‘shows’ to watch each day. Viewers spend, on average, 40 minutes a day watching Youtube. In fact, Youtube reaches more 18 to 49-year-olds than any cable network in the United States. Youtube currently has 1.5 billion users, which is the second largest social media network, following Facebook. To put this quantity into perspective, 1.5 billion users is roughly 1/3rd of Internet users.

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The range of users includes:

  • 62% Male/ 38% Female
  • 11% ages 18-24
  • 23% ages 25-34
  • 26% ages 35-44
  • 16% ages 45-54
  • 8% ages 50-64
  • 3% ages 65+

As you can see from the breakdown above, the majority of Youtube users are males ages 25-66. This statistic, however, can be misleading as there are different viewers for each channel on Youtube. For instance, Adelaine Morin is a 20-year-old Youtuber who creates beauty-tip videos and therefore she attracts mostly young females to watching her videos. With that being said, there is hope to find your target market on Youtube by just looking at specific categories of videos. Categories include beauty, fashion, comedy, music, animals, gaming, and many more.

Advertisement Opportunities: Advertising on Youtube is relatively simple as this channel is owned by Google, so it operates as an extension of Google Adwords. The first step involves creating your own channel and a video that will be shown for future advertisements. This video should be brand-related and include a call to action that will allow viewers to explore more of your content. To properly utilize your video campaign, we recommend that you send the viewer to your website or Youtube channel to see additional products or videos about your organization.

After you have created your video, it is important to analyze who you would like to see it. Google Adwords offers a selection of location, demographics, and interests that you can choose from. By selecting the proper audience, you can reach the group of individuals that will respond best to your product. Google Adwords then does the brain work of finding the selected audience and adding your advertisement with a related video.

The final step is setting your budget. Your organization is only charged when the viewer watches 30 seconds or more of your ad or engages with it by clicking the call-to-action overlay, card, or companion banner. Youtube states that on average an organization spends roughly $10 per day for local campaigns, which would be a good starting point if you are new.

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Beyond just a video advertisement, there are other ways to get involved on Youtube. Sponsorships are an interesting way to get in contact with creators. If you know that a specific creator has your target market watching, it might be worthwhile to sponsor them directly. When doing so, the Youtuber must declare that the video is a paid product placement/endorsement, but that has little effect on the viewer. This method allows your product to be viewed in collaboration with the Youtuber, which can increase awareness of your brand.

Engagement: Interacting with your audience on Youtube is different than on any other social media platforms (Twitter or Facebook) because involvement on Youtube should be geared towards entertaining your viewer and capturing an audience's attention. Viewers come to Youtube to keep up with their favorite creator, musician, or even animal. After you have created your channel and videos relevant to your brand, it is important to organize your videos. To do this, you can make playlists for similar videos. For example, Nike has a set of playlists for each campaign they have (Nike Campus, Nike Training, and Nike Breakthrough Stories are an example). This allows viewers to continue watching a category of videos that interest them the most.

Another way to engage with viewers watching your videos is through cards. A card is shown on the right-hand side of your video and invites viewers to explore more about your brand by clicking onto the connected link. This could be a link to your channel, another video, or a home website.

Similar to Facebook and Twitter, it is critical for an organization to react to Youtube comments. Youtube viewers are able to leave comments underneath each video and can even have conversations with others regarding what they have watched. For your organization, it is important to look through and monitor responses to gain instant feedback and gauge the interest your brand is creating.

If you’re looking for a team of professionals who can help your brand create a top-notch YouTube campaign, we’re here for you. We offer digital ad campaign services and social media expertise.

Social Media Mayhem: Twitter 101

This week in our social media series, we discuss Twitter and the opportunities available to your organization while using this platform. We will explore Twitter’s audience characteristics, advertising options, and the ways you can use this platform to boost overall engagement between users and your organization. Whether you need to research your target market, learn how to get involved with advertisements, or revamp interactions with your audience, we will show you how to use this platform to make that happen.

Audience: Currently Twitter has roughly 330 million monthly users, over 67 million of whom reside in the United States. When compared to Facebook, Twitter has a smaller span of age groups using their network. The following statistics show who is present: 

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  • 18-29 year olds represent 37% of users
  • 30-49 year olds represent 25% of users
  • 50-64 year olds represent 12% of users
  • 65+ represents 10%

If your organization is looking to reach a younger generation, Twitter is a great choice. As you can see, the majority of users are less than 30 years-old, dropping off significantly after 50. Twitter also has an extremely high rate of teens. Specifically, of all 15-17 year old internet users, 42% use Twitter.

Advertising: Advertising on this platform is a fairly simple process. To start, you select your primary marketing goal (e.g. increasing awareness, promoting video views, etc.), which helps Twitter determine what advertising method you will use. Twitter makes the marketing process easy by offering goal-specific methods based on your selection.

Depending on which selection you make, you are then able to determine what content you want to promote from your account, who you want to target, and what budget you want to devote to your campaign. Some forms of advertising include promoted tweets, promoted accounts, or promoted trends.

Twitter campaigns are an effective method as you know exactly who is going to be seeing it based on the target market you enter into your ads. Twitter is able to look at a user’s account and analyze demographic characteristics based on account activity such as who the user follows, likes, and tweets. They are also able to see location, so you are directing your message to someone who is able to access your organization.

Twitter also offers a Promote Mode, which goes one step further than creating individual advertisements. This type of campaign manages your account’s advertisements for an entire month. This option automatically promotes your brand’s tweets and account without forcing you to handle the nuances of each campaign yourself. The last option available through Twitter is  Quick Promote, which allows you to promote an individual tweet by just clicking a button. You simply locate the tweet you would like your target audience to see, select ‘Promote this Tweet,’ and enter the location you would like to reach, selecting your budget, as well.

Engagement: When your organization launches a Twitter account, it’s essential that you create an appropriate @name or username to accurately represent your brand. This is the tag that everyone will see on your account, as well as what they will type when interacting with your profile. The @name you create is permanent, so you must be careful and diligent when choosing one for your brand.

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After you’ve created your @name, you must focus on making your page reputable and professional in appearance and content. We recommend the following steps:

  • Include a bio about your organization; in your bio you should include a short description and a link where users can find your organization online
  • Insert a profile picture to represent your brand; Twitter recommends using a photo with the following dimensions: 400 x 400 pixels
  • Create an attractive header; this should be updated as it is important to keep this synchronized with current products, promotions, etc.
  • Follow related accounts

Once you’ve completed the following steps, you can begin to tweet! Twitter allows you to embed images and videos into your 280 character tweets, so it is important to vary your posts, using some just text and others with gifs, images, and videos. Bear in mind that when you include an image or another visual aspect, viewers are three times more likely to engage with it. This is especially important for brands building awareness around a current product or promotion.

Twitter users are able to like, retweet, and reply to your posts. Twitter Analytics provides your organization with statistics regarding your month-to-month performance, examining activity and interactions, influencers, and content. This is a great tool for discovering what content your audience likes most.

Other Twitter actions that can strengthen your engagement level include the following:

  • Pinning your tweet: Twitter provides you with the opportunity to keep your most important tweet at the top of your personal Twitter feed by “pinning” it. This makes sure that a user will see the post when looking at your account.
  • Conducting Twitter polls: This allows you to ask your followers questions and receive instant feedback. When creating a poll you enter the question as well as four answer options. The poll can remain open for just five minutes or up to 7 days while users provide responses to your questions.

Our last tip regarding Twitter: remember to keep up with your mentions. This function is easily found in the notification tab of your account. Interacting with users is a way to build a more credible account and increase brand loyalty.

At Conscious Collaborative, we love utilizing Twitter for our clients, drawing in new followers and engaging with fans. We offer social media content and services that can help your organization reach new advocates. Check out our services for more information!

Social Media Mayhem: Facebook 101

Welcome to Conscious Collaborative’s social media guide, where over the course of the next 4 weeks we will explore the most popular platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram, and outline their unique qualities as marketing tools. Our team will be highlighting the newest techniques and information about your favorite social channels to help you build a better social strategy and utilize brand new functions available in each of these platforms.

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This week, we are focusing on the ever-popular social channel, Facebook.  How does this social media star continue to market to over 2 billion current active users? To keep our guide organized, we will first quantify Facebook’s audience, explore advertising opportunities within the platform, and then discover how to effectively engage with Facebook users.

Audience: Facebook has a whopping 2.072 billion monthly active users as of January 1, 2018. To put that into perspective, the current population of the United States of America is 325,639,687. This means that Facebook accommodates a user “population” over six times that of the United States. Still, within this incredibly diverse range of users, it is possible to find your target market by using this platform.

Here are some important demographic statistics about current Facebook users to consider:

      53% female / 47% male

      82% of 18-29 year olds use Facebook

      79% of 30-49 year olds use Facebook

      56% of 65 and up use Facebook

While these statistics speak for themselves, think of all the ways that your organization can reach current and new audiences by utilizing Facebook’s features. While other marketing methods may be limited to one specific demographic, Facebook has such a wide array of users; this makes it easy for organizations to broadcast through just one platform to advertise to all potential customers and spread awareness at a much faster  pace.

Another one of Facebook’s cool features is an in-house analytic tool that can give you information about the Facebook users who are connected to your organization’s page, in your Custom Audience, or simply active on Facebook. This tool is called Audience Insights and it aims to give you the information to “create content that resonates and easily find more people like the ones in your current audience.” Beyond just standard demographic information, you are able to learn about the lifestyles of those who are potential customers for your organization; this includes family size and location, as well as the interests and hobbies of those in the network. For an organization creating a digital marketing strategy, this is a fantastic tool to potentially restructure and adapt to make the most of a new or existing campaign.

Advertising opportunities: So how exactly should you use Facebook? It’s a good question, and for companies unfamiliar with advertising on Facebook, you may be confused by the available options. While this is a very brief description of each of the available advertising opportunities, we urge you to read on to find an option that is best suited for your organization. 

The different Facebook advertising formats:

Photo: A picture that you feel represents your brand and will attract Facebook users with a small text caption  

Video: Facebook features in-stream video ads that will play for users and capture their attention

Carousel: Features 10 images or videos within a single ad that offer customers options for where the organization’s landing page will be

Slideshow: Uses a video that incorporates a series of photos and simplifies the creation process

Collection: Focuses on driving conversion for products by simplifying process to browse and learn more about products

Canvas: Similarly to “Collection,” this format focuses on giving customers more information about the product by using full-screen videos and photos to engage viewers

Lead Ads: a basic and more traditional opportunity for customers to engage with an organization through pop-up forms (i.e newsletter subscription or event registration)

Dynamic ads: Ads that appear for people who have already expressed interest in your organization by viewing your website or interacted with your app

Link Ads: This format connects Facebook users to your organization’s most important link(s)

While our list may seem overwhelming, dipping your toes in the world of Facebook ads is worthwhile. Infact, 95.8% of social media marketers worldwide have said that Facebook provides the best ROI (return on investment) of all social platforms.

If you’re thinking of using photo ads on Facebook, keep in mind that there are strict parameters set for the amount of text that can be included in your ad images. While it may seem tempting to include a call to action on your image, which can capture the attention of consumers and instruct them on what you would like them to do,  your images can only be filled with text up to 20%. This allows your ad to run to more individuals while also being the least expensive option compared to including more. This tip works for all ads that contain pictures, even the thumbnail images for videos.

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Engagement: The final part of this Facebook puzzle is engaging with users. Facebook offers a variety of ways you can do this. For instance, you can create a Facebook Business page where you post content and communicate with users through comments. Another interesting way to connect with users is through Facebook Live, where you can stream live events or announcements to viewers. Livestreaming is a major player in 2018 marketing, which makes this feature especially appealing.

The Facebook Algorithm should be another consideration for organizations aiming to increase user participation. The Facebook Algorithm is far too complex to thoroughly explain, but the main takeaway is that not all posted on Facebook is shown to users. This creates a competition to create content that is appealing to users and will therefore appear on their feed. There are many factors that determine what shows up on a specific news feed including the following: relationship with other users, the type of post, content, and even the device that is being used to view Facebook.

Once those technical issues are properly addressed and streamlined, a business is able to create a Facebook Page to share content with viewers.  This page should be an accurate representation of your brand and share content that your customers would like. It is very important to use a variety of posting styles (images, text, or video) and fluctuate content (linked content, original, and promotional). This increases the chance of a user actually seeing your post, as they might have a specific style commonly shown on their newsfeed.

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Another promising feature within a Facebook page is the opportunity to communicate live with users via Facebook Live. Facebook Live gives an unedited, spontaneous feeling to your organization and can strengthen customer loyalty by giving a sneak peek into the business. During Facebook Live events, it is possible to respond back instantly to questions and feedback offered by viewers, allowing your organization to what followers would like to see or know. One tip when considering the use of Facebook Live: Be sure to give your audience advanced notice about when you will be going live so more users are prepared and can join into your stream. When “going live,” it is important to use your time effectively and be prepared for what you will do. This will ensure that you can “broadcast” for a longer amount of time, which is generally a more effective way to reach a larger audience.

The last feature of Facebook worth mentioning is their Insights feature. Insights goes beyond simply documenting who is viewing your profile and posts; it provides critical information about which content is most successful. You are able to understand how people are engaging with your page and can view different metrics regarding your Page’s performance. This is helpful for organizations not familiar in finding analytics as it can be discovered with relative ease through just a couple of clicks on Facebook.

In next week’s post we will explore Twitter and see how Facebook compares to their features.

If you’re looking for more information regarding brand identity and other marketing topics check out our blog and for even more assistance, check out Conscious Collaborative’s services.







 

Resolution Time: How to Create a Stronger Brand Identity in 2018

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While the phrase ‘new year, new me’ is overused in basically every New Years Eve-related post, the meaning of it resonates with businesses looking for a fresh start in the coming year. There is no better time to reevaluate past marketing campaigns, set new goals, and create a new strategy than the start of a new year.

One marketing goal that should make the top of your list is creating a stronger brand identity. Doing so will allow your brand to stand out among competitors and build a stronger relationship between you and your customers. In order to accomplish this goal, it is important to do the following:

1.) Re-evaluate Core Competencies: In order to better market your organization, it is critical to discover what makes your brand unique. Organizations should reflect on what distinguishes their business by doing the following:

  • Review the mission statement to identify core values and purpose

  • Customer feedback to find most important qualities in products

  • Evaluate competitors products to see how you are different               

Identifying what makes your business unique will shape future marketing campaigns and the reputation of your organization. In the New Year, take time to make this attribute synonymous with your brand. This will differentiate your brand from competitors and give customers a better idea of what you will offer them.

For example, Apple is a brand that thrives on fortifying their core mission to produce innovative products. Apple’s campaign to think different captured the attention of the public and turned the concept into a lifestyle rather than just an advertising slogan. Through this campaign and branding, they have remained true to the values created by founder Steve Jobs and enhanced their reputation.  

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2.) Consistent Posting Schedule: Another idea to build a stronger brand identity is to create a consistent posting schedule to stay on the radar of consumers. It is important to put out material that is in line with your core competency identified in the previous tip. Consistent social media posting creates depth in your organization and allows you to interact with consumers who have similar, sympathetic interests. You can share related industry news or even interesting articles that will entertain your target market. It also creates a personality for your brand that people can relate to and share with friends and family.                                                                                                                                                                                      An example of a company employing this approach is Starbucks, who post regularly on Twitter with tweets mentioning featured menu items and content for anyone who loves coffee. Not only do they feature a story about Nick Jonas buying coffee and singing for fans in a Starbucks location; they also offer a fun announcement about national Hot Cocoa Day to draw attention back to their products.  By remaining up-to-date with current events and trends - and incorporating them into your posting -  your business remains relevant for consumers.  

3.) Conversation with Customers: In addition to consistent posting, it is critical to interact with customers to create a personal connection and show your personality. Creating an identity for your organization goes beyond just pictures and videos you share; it also extends to interactions with customers using your products or services.  Through this type of communication, you can dramatically change how people view your company based on how you respond to their experiences.

For example, Jet Blue responds to seemingly every tweet they are tagged in. In each interaction, JetBlue provides a friendly response to demonstrate that the company values each and every mention from their customers. Building this kind of reputation increases JetBlue’s brand loyalty and further promotes their brand as a customer-friendly airline service. Thankfully, in our digital era, responding to every customer is an actual possibility and can be done with relative ease. JetBlue takes advantage of this and their reputation (and business) measurably improves as a result.

From everyone on the Conscious Collaborative Team, we are wishing you a Happy New Year and a successful 2018 marketing campaign! For additional articles, check out our blog, where we discuss various marketing ideas to offer you support. If you need help elevating your next campaign, Our team is also available to provide a full range of services.

3 Things Nonprofits Should Consider this Season

The holidays are coming! If you’re a nonprofit, this means preparing yourself for the rush of charitable giving this season is known for.  When approached effectively, nonprofits can reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right time.

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While this may sound like a simple endeavor, it takes careful consideration to adjust marketing plans for the holiday season. The three main things to consider are the following:

  1. Shifting your target market:  As stated before, the holidays bring an increase of giving. In fact, roughly 1/3rd of all donations happen in December, with the majority occurring during the last three days of the month. This influx of donations gives hope for reaching a new group of individuals who aren’t as accessible during different points in the year. In order to properly utilize resources it is important to focus on individuals who are currently unaware of your organization. Focusing on new donors allows your organization to shape its marketing campaign accordingly, as you must focus on gaining exposure and then educating.

  2. Educate: In order to attract these last-minute donors, you must recognize what factors are necessary to get their attention. Roughly half of Americans (52%) donate to organizations that support a passion of theirs while more than 1/3rd (35%) donate to an organization with which they are personally connected. While this statistic is in no way shocking, it reminds nonprofits what to communicate to potential donors during this especially busy and stressful time. Organizations should focus their campaigns on educating individuals about what they are trying to accomplish and the concrete impact their donation will have on the cause they support or the community where they live. Establishing a clear passion and personal connection can compel a person to donate to your organization instead of the other 1.5 million nonprofits.

  3. Call-to-Action: For a marketing campaign to contribute to the fulfillment of your organization’s goal, you should employ a compelling call-to-action. Once you have found a possible donor and communicated your vision with them, it is important to take the next step and tell them what they can do. By providing a clear next step, it eases the donor’s potential frustration of having to find out how to donate. For a successful call-to-action example, check out ASPCA’s homepage, where they not only attract viewers with a slideshow of very *very* cute animals, but display a clear donation button and message to go along with it.

Here’s to a successful 2017 holiday campaign! If you’re seeking additional help with your marketing campaign, our team offers a full range of services to amp up the scope and effectiveness of your digital content. Feel free to explore our services and contact us directly with any questions you may have. Wishing you and your nonprofit team all the best from Conscious Collaborative.